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Jet Pilot Details


If Jet Pilot seems hopelessly out of date today, imagine how filmgoers in 1957 reacted when this relic from 1949 was taken off the shelf. Many, many years in the making due to the maniacal tinkering by producer Howard Hughes (who reportedly lost $4 million on it - a massive sum back then), the film was deemed unreleasable upon completion; only when Universal-International took over distribution of a handful of RKO Radio productions did it finally see the light of day. John Wayne stars as an air force colonel stationed in an Alaskan outpost only 40 miles or so from the Soviet Union. Wayne is put in charge of Russian jet pilot Janet Leigh, who claims that she wants to defect. Actually, Leigh is a Communist spy, but thanks to Wayne's affectionate attentions she is won over to the side of Democracy. Thus it is that Leigh rescues the Duke when he is kidnapped and nearly brainwashed by her Commie comrades. Jet Pilot was eventually bought back from U-I by Hughes for his personal collection; not only did he buy into the propagandistic plotline, but he was also enthralled by the aerial scenes, some of which were staged by legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager. The 1949 production date for a number of sequences explains not only why so many of the actors look young for 1957, but the existence of several supporting cast members who had died in the interim (such as Jack Overman and Richard Rober). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


John Wayne
as Col. Shannon
Janet Leigh
as Anna
Jay C. Flippen
as Maj.Gen.Black
Paul Fix
as Maj. Rexford
Richard Rober
as George Rivers
Roland Winters
as Col. Sokolov
Hans Conried
as Col. Matoff
Ivan Triesault
as Gen. Langrad
Perdita Chandler
as Georgia Rexford
Joyce Compton
as Mrs. Simpson
Denver Pyle
as Mr. Simpson
Dorothy Abbott
Carleton Young
Gregg Barton
Allen Matthews
as Headwaiter
Bill Erwin
as Sergeant-GAC
Vince Gironda
as Muscle Man
Barbara Freking
as WAFs
Michael Mark
as Russian General
Mamie van Doren
as WAF
Keith McConnell
as Bartender
Al Murphy
Elizabeth Flournoy
as WAF Captain
Theodore Rand
Harry Lauter
as Sergeants
Gene Evans
as Airfield Sergeant
Jack Shea
as MP
Joan Whitney
as WAC Sergeant
Paul H. Frees
as Lt. Tiompkin
Don Haggerty
Jack Overman
as Sergeant
Nelson Leigh
as FBI Man
Mike Lally
Joey Ray
as Waiter
Jane Easton
Kenneth Tobey
Ruthelma Stevens
Ruth Lee
as Mother
Smoki Whitfield
as Henry
Armand Tanny
as Muscle Man
Gene Roth
as Sokolov's Batman


Josef von Sternberg
Jules Furthman
Jules Furthman
Winton Hoch
Bronislau Kaper
Composer (Music Score)
Constantin Bakaleinikoff
Musical Direction/Supervision
Harry Marker
Albert S. D'Agostino
Art Director
Darrell Silvera
Set Designer
Harley Miller
Set Designer
Michael Woulfe
Costume Designer
Winton Hoch
Special Effects